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Additional parking at rec center
MEXICO -- With the success of winter basketball at the River Valley Recreation Center came problems of finding room people to park their vehicles.
It is hoped that the situation will improve following action taken by Town Manager John Madigan, who recently met with the Board of Trustees from the Mexico Congregational Church, who voted to allow the town to use a 50x50-foot section of its property for additional parking spots.
The overflow parking, located on what used to be the garden spot for the parsonage, is much needed as some 180 youngsters are signed up for the upcoming basketball program there.
Madigan said the trustees were “very receptive to allowing the town to use the land for parking.” They asked that the corner markers on the property to remain intact, the board preapprove any construction work, and the town maintain liability for the construction.
The overflow parking will result in an additional 20 parking spaces.
In other business, Madigan, who is also the road commissioner, noted that the hydrostatic transmission pump on the primary sidewalk plow needs to be replaced. A new one would cost $13,700 to replace. However, a rebuilt one can be purchased for $4,500 plus shipping from Canada.
The town has a backup sidewalk plow, purchase from the Town of Jay, but it cannot serve as the primary machine. The board approved the rebuilt part, to be paid for out of the equipment reserve account.
Following a public hearing, the board approved "No parking" signs on the upper side of Burton Street to the first driveway to provide safer access for town sandtrucks and emergency vehicles.
Madigan said he received complaints from the Highway Department after they had difficulties sanding the street. He said having cars park on both sides of the road makes it difficult for a firetruck to respond to an emergency due to the lack of space.
Burton Street resident David Gile said he's seen unregistered and uninspected cars parked on the opposite side of his house, sitting right on top of a catch basin drain. “One day, I saw the highway department come in to clean out the catch basin and they looked at the cars parked on top of the drain, threw their hands up in the air and drove away. It's a problem when they can't even do their job.”
Selectman George Byam said after hearing some of the points brought up at the meeting, it would “be negligent to not do something about the situation,” citing the difficulties a firetruck would have maneuvering the road during an emergency.
Selectman Byron Ouellette suggested the board draft a letter to residents who would be affected by the new signs to warn them about the change.